Engineering Skills and Construction
India has many beautiful temples, mosques, palaces and forts.
Whenever we thought of architecture in India, images of the Taj Mahal and others come up in our minds.
It is so amazing that how people constructed such huge structures without using cranes, machines and modern day tools.
Let us try to know the engineering skills and construction of that period
Between the 7th and 10th centuries, the architecture of buildings became more complex. architects began adding more rooms, windows and doors to the buildings.
Architects began adding more rooms, windows and doors to the buildings.
During that time, the doors, roofs and windows were made by a style of architecture called ‘trabeate’ or ‘corbelled.’
In this style, roofs, doors and windows were made by placing a horizontal beam across two vertical columns.
This style was used to build temples, mosques, tombs and stepped-wells.
Temple Construction in the Early Eleventh Century
Let us discuss The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple first
This temple was constructed in 999 by King Dhangadeva of the Chandela dynasty.
The temple has ornamented gateway which leads to the entrance and to the main hall.
The image of the chief deity was kept in the main shrine (garbhagriha).
Only the king, his immediate family and priests could enter there.
Now let us take example of The Rajarajeshvara temple at Thanjavur
The Rajarajeshvara temple at Thanjavur had the tallest shikhara.
Constructing it was not easy because there were no cranes to carry 90 tonne stone for the top of the shikhara.
So the architects built an inclined path to the top of the temple to carry the stones.
This path was broken down after the temple was constructed. But the residents of the area remembered the experience of the construction of the temple for a long time
During the 12th century, two types of technological and stylistic developments were made.
Technological and Stylistic Developments
First is the arcuate style, where the weight of the structure above the doors and windows is carried by the arches.
Second is the usage of limestone in construction because of its high quality.
When limestone is mixed with stone chips, it is hardened into concrete.
This made building of large structures easier and faster.
Between the 7th and 10th centuries, the architects began to add more rooms, windows and doors to the buildings.
In trabeate style, roofs, doors and windows were made by placing a horizontal beam across two vertical columns.
An example of this style is the Kandariya Mahadeva temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
In arcuate style, the weight of the structure above the doors and windows is carried by the arches.
Limestone was used in the construction of monuments as it is a high quality cement, and mixing it with stone chips hardened it into concrete.